Notes: The 2004 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure & problems with the stereo backlight failing. We recommend avoiding this model year like the plague.

The transmission begins slipping & eventually has to be replaced, typically soon after 90,000 miles & with a repair cost of over $2,000. Transmission failure has been a huge problem for the Accord & several other Honda models all through the early 2000s model years. Honda extended the transmission warranty to 93 months/109k miles for the 2000-2001 Accord as a class action lawsuit settlement, but owners of other Accord model years with transmission problems are out of luck.

The stereo backlight problem has been an issue ever since these Accords were only a few years old. Honda eventually issued a recall which covered the repair for 7 years/100k miles, which was nice while it lasted but now that period is over. Honda initially replaced the entire radio ($800) but eventually began replacing just the PCB which at ~$300 is much cheaper. That sounds like a deal, but keep in mind we're talking about a backlight bulb that costs $2 to fix in most other cars.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
109,539 miles
Total Complaints:
205 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (66 reports)
  2. paid for a new transmission (46 reports)
  3. replace transmission (38 reports)
  4. complete rebuild (15 reports)
  5. honda paid partial "goodwill repair" (15 reports)
  6. fixed with new warranty from transmission specialty shop (9 reports)
2004 Honda Accord transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 6 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #105

Jan 212012

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


This is my 5th Honda. I buy Honda's specifically because I expect these kinds of problems not to happen. I'm very appreciative of Honda Corporate splitting the cost with me but the safety of my family was at risk plus not knowing how long the rebuilt transmission will last.

Also - thanks for the great web site!

- , Seattle, WA, USA

problem #104

Oct 262011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,951 miles

The transmission let go while traveling on the freeway and was lucky we did not get rear ended by another vehicle. Was able to coast to the side of the road and call AAA. We were on our way to NC and this happend in PA and we had to spend 4 nights at a local hotel (added cost) with our cat. The dealer had to order the transmission and then install it which took 3 days. They were able to get HONDA to pay 25% which still left us with a bill of over $3100.00. We understand there was a recall on the 2004 honda's for a transmission problem but it was Vin specific. This is our second Honda and it will be our last. The vehicle was regularly serviced and was serviced just a few days before leaving on our trip. Getting Honda to pay 25% was nice but we believe they should pay much more as this has happend to many other Hondas of the same year.

- , The Villages, FL, USA

problem #103

Dec 272011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles

We have a V6 2004 Honda Accord EX with 69,000 miles. It is a one owner, one-driver vehicle that has been serviced only at the dealership where it was purchased new.

We are fortunate that we are not in the hospital today (or worse) as the result of a total transmission failure yesterday. It happened on one of the busiest highway exchanges in Dallas, TX. After finally limping through curved ramps we managed to sputter across lanes of traffic, barely making it into a parking lot. We had it towed to the original dealership, took a cab home and received a phone call later in the day. We were then told that the car needs a total transmission replacement and were quoted a price. That was it. We are protesting this and hope for an amicable settlement from Honda. Today I see Honda transmission issues all over the Web and I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience with the 2004 V6 Honda Accord EX that has only 69,000 miles on it? Or even with more or less mileage than that?

- , Dallas, TX, USA

problem #102

Sep 192011

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


Let's see exactly what Honda can 75,000 for a 04 Honda Accord, the dealer wants $4500.....a transmission shop will do it for 2500. I want to pay 0, and think they should pay ME for the trouble and fact that my son could have been injured when the transmission failure occurred. Ridiculous! I was getting ready to buy another Honda because this one has never had any issues before......

- , Rochester, NY, USA

problem #101

Dec 162011

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,345 miles

lets just say i went from a honda lover to a honda hater and the sad thing is i still have to pay the car off . lent the car to a friend and of course some how the transmission gives out and honda wants nearly 5 g to fix with no help from honda because the transmission is one that was recalled in there eyes so after losing my entire safety net from being out of work to due to an injury. i get to pray the timing belt holds and i can get the payments made . i know its a nice looking car but buyer beware and if you're smart listen to all of us when we say stay away from these cars unless its free.

- , Sacramento, CA, US

problem #100

Jan 202011

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I bought this car as my once in a lifetime "Dream Car". It was claimed by Honda to be a car that would last, with correct maintenance for well over 250,000 miles. Now it's sitting in my garage for almost a year because the transmission failed catastrophically with only 90,000 miles and it will cost $6000 to repair it! On top of that, once I paid for the car in full, HONDA lost the title and I went through pure hell for well OVER a year getting them to replace it!! Under NO circumstances should a car of this level and PRICE experience any kind of failure of this nature at that mileage. Honda has KNOWN these transmissions were junk since 1999 and continued to sell them, AND claim how great this car was, AND that you could expect reliable drive train operation for well over 200,000 miles. They are as corrupt as an auto manufacturer can be! There should have been a recall. I received nothing! I want my transmission RELACED with a new one, a properly re-designed new one.

- , Pittsboro, IN, USA

problem #99

Dec 102011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles


No gripe, no yelling yet. I have been faithfully taking this car to Honda dealer for recommended maintenance. I am surprised such a major failure has occurred with my car and I expect to come to a amicable solution with Honda. Let's see.

- , Cary, NC, US

problem #98

Aug 202011

Accord Exlv V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,000 miles

The car starts up in the runs for about 10-15 minutes and then their is no power to the transmission the engine is racing but the car is slowing down and jerking. The honda dealership is high strung about the Vin number although the 2004 Accord V6 transmission was on a recall if that specific vin is not listed they are not covering the repair. the problem is exactly the problem of the recall. Below is the recall

Corporate June 30, 2004

American Honda Expands Voluntary Transmission Recall to Certain Honda and Acura Automobiles

TORRANCE, Calif., June 29, 2004 -- American Honda Motor Co., Inc. today announced that it will expand its existing voluntary recall of light truck models for a potential transmission defect to include certain Honda and Acura passenger cars. The voluntary action involves approximately 499,000 Honda and Acura passenger vehicles with V6 engines and 5-speed automatic transmissions. Affected models include certain 2003 and early 2004 model Accord V6 sedans and coupes, 2000-2003 and early 2004 Acura TL sedans, and 2001-2003 Acura CL coupes.

The company has found only one confirmed instance of a transmission failure related to this defect in its passenger cars, with no accidents or injuries. “We are acting out of an abundance of caution to ensure that this doesn’t become an issue for our customers,’” said Tom Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

The situation is created by insufficient lubrication of the transmission’s secondary shaft second gear that can occur under certain driving conditions. Prolonged operation under these conditions can lead to heat build-up and under certain circumstances may eventually result in chipped or broken gear teeth or breakage of the gear. In the event of a chipped or broken tooth, the owner will likely experience abnormal noise from the transmission and seek repairs. In rare instances, this condition may lead to gear breakage and possible locking of the vehicle’s transmission, creating a potential safety hazard.

Owners of affected vehicles will be contacted via mail and will be asked to take their vehicle to an authorized Honda or Acura dealer to be repaired free of charge. Customer mailings will begin in late July. In most cases, the repair involves a simple gear inspection, which is accomplished without removing or disassembling the transmission, and a modification to increase the flow of transmission fluid to the affected gear. If there is any indication of damage to the gear, the dealer will replace the complete transmission assembly. Customers concerned about the condition of their vehicle may visit Honda’s Ownerlink website. Customers may also contact their local Honda or Acura dealer, or call Honda customer service or Acura customer service.

Note: This information is being released in conjunction with an announcement concerning a related recall action for Honda models in Japan.

Related Links

· U.S.A. · American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

<< Return

- , Buford, GA, USA

problem #97

Jul 272011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,875 miles

Apparently my story is all too common.

I was merging onto the 405 freeway in Los Angeles. I hit about 40 MPH and then the transmission slipped and would not shift. I quickly made my way to the shoulder and was able to take the next exit. This was very dangerous as vehicles were bearing down on me as I lost the transmission.

I'm hoping for some Goodwill help from Honda as the service guy estimated at least $4000 for a new transmission. This will determine if I will ever buy another Honda.

What happened to Honda reliability?? What a shame.

- , Hermosa Beach, CA, USA

problem #96

Jul 102011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

This is my second Honda and I always thought that Honda was a reliable company. I was about 2 hours away from home and my car started to slow down on it's own. I would give it gas but I got nothing. I drifted onto the side of the road and turned the car off. I tried it a couple minutes later and it started right up and I started driving when no more than 3/4 of a mile later the same thing happened. I was panicking because it was just me and my daughter and I knew that a tow from 2 hours away would be very costly. I did the on/off thing for the whole drive home and what should have taken 2 hours took 4 scary hours. Every time it downshifted on it's own and I lost speed I would have to find a place to drift into and turn the car off for a couple of minutes. The next day I called my local honda where the car was purchased (by my father in law) and they said it sounded like the transmission. I asked about a recall and they said there was none for my vin number. I asked what did that mean and they said some were recalled and some were not. They suggested I call the corporate office and gave me the number. I am not the original owner and this caused a problem at corporate even though I bought the car from my father in law, who at the time lived with us and got his license taken away because of seizures 11 months after he drove his new car off the lot. Corporate said they could not help and Honda said $4213.00 for your fix. I was devastated. I bought the car from my father in law because I had a Honda Civic before and it was a great car. I would have gone to an independent garage but my husband said it was best to take it to Honda and let them fix their Faulty transmission. Let them know we have one of their lemons. Honda should really step up and recall. This is life threatening and scary. Needless to say I have a rebuilt transmission that cost $4213.00 it comes with 36,000miles or 3 years warranty. Guess what I'm doing when either one approaches? Getting rid of Honda and going American.

- , Lancaster, PA, USA

problem #95

Sep 082011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,343 miles


Honda Accord EX V6 Automatic Transmission

Transmission total failure without any warning with only 101,343 miles on a hill in Seattle, WA during rush hour traffic. Had to have towed to repair shop and rented a car for two weeks. Contacted Honda Customer Service to voice our complaint with no satisfaction given. Total disappointment in Honda products, thought they were bullet proof.

- , Longview, WA, USA

problem #94

Oct 062011

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

My transmission died at 102,000 miles in my 2004 Honda Accord (automatic transmission). It went from running perfect to a paper weight in 24 hours

Blue Book trade in value is $6000 max. Dealer estimate repair cost is $4500 + there's a scheduled timing belt replacement at the next service. Total repair cost will be $5400. Basically, my Accord lasted me 7 years, 100,000 miles. Who would ever buy another Honda after going through this.

- , San Jose, CA, USA

problem #93

Jun 172011

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,153 miles

Transmission downshifted without warning into lowest gear causing the car to jerk and decelerate very rapidly, which resulted in lost control of the vehicle. After coming to a stop transmission would not engage, leaving the car disabled in the middle of the highway.

- , Shrewsbury, MA, USA

problem #92

Sep 152011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 163,000 miles

Shocked to have a complete failure of transmission.

- , Danbury, CT, USA

problem #91

Sep 132011

Accord EX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

This transmission was recalled in 2004 and they installed an oil jet kit and extra lubrication to help prevent it from failing. The "fix" clearly did not work and it failed after on 65,000 miles. The dealership refuses to pay for the repair despite knowing these are faulty transmissions. Not only is this an extreme inconvenience, but it put my safety and the safety of my two year old daughter at risk. The transmission failed while I took my daughter to school and I was stuck on a hill with semis behind me.

- , Seattle, WA, USA

problem #90

Aug 262011

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

Seems as though I'm not the only one that feels there is something seriously wrong with the way Honda is making these vehicles. I also have a 2004 V6 Honda Accord with the transmission failing at 86000 miles. I've always been dedicated to buying Honda vehicles with the notion that they are really good cars and last a long time... until now.

I have always kept up with the oil changes and general maintenance and don't understand how the transmission has gone out. While driving the gears first began to slip in and out and then completely stalled. Of course I take it in right away and find it's gonna cost $3800 to fix.

Oh wait let me not forget to mention the fact that I had purchased an extended 3yr or 100,000 mile warranty when I first got the car in 2008. So I think great then this should be covered, yet to my surprise when I contact Honda care they state it had expired 3months ago and I would need to pay for the repairs out of pocket. I was livid!!! The only option they gave at that time was to take it to a Honda shop, pay for the diagnostic and then speak with the Honda Service Manager about contacting Honda to possibly get a portion of the repairs fixed. Mind you the vehicle is not drivable, so I would of had to pay for a tow to get the car from the current body shop to Honda, pay an additional fee for another diagnostic, and get a quote that's likely a lot more than the private shop only on the POSSIBILITY that Honda MIGHT pay a portion, which can be ANY percentage they choose. In the event they are not willing to pay, or the percentage is low that then means I either pay more at the dealership than I would of at the private shop, or I pay for another tow to take it back.

Maybe it's just me but this seems like an enormous amount of work to be done for just a possibility, especially when the transmission shouldn't be going out this early on and with such low mileage. In addition to the fact that it's obvious this is a problem with numerous vehicles and people and a manufacturers issue.

- , Sacramento, CA, US

problem #89

Aug 262011

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 181,000 miles

I was driving my 2004 Honda Accord in Huntsville, Alabama on 231/431 in rush hour traffic when the transmission just quite pulling, I was almost rear ended. I was able to coast the car until I got to an exit and pushed it the rest on the way to a nearby gas station. I sat there a few minutes car would not move in any gears only made a high pitch whin noise. I turned the car off and let it sit for about 10 minutes than started it back up put it in drive and drove it for about a block drove fine and than went out again. I parked the Accord and called my dad to bring a trailer so I could get it home. I got home and Googled my transmission problem only to find many complaints on this issue. Honda should do a recall on this transmission before someone gets killed.

- , Harvest, AL, US

problem #88

Aug 122011

Accord 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

2004 Honda Accord, original owner with 119,xxx miles. Have documented history of dealer recommended service on everything, even down to the recommended oil changes. On 3/19/11, replaced the transmission fluid as recommended, cleaned magnetic plug, replaced drain plug seal and replaced with new Honda transmission fluid. Inspect seals and tranny for leaks. - Nothing documented whether their were leaks or not by the dealer on vehicle work history. Honda Case Manager says that the 2nd gear was fixed in 2005 after recall was given. However, the work history states, "Inspect 2nd gear and install lubrication kit on transmission. Inspection show no problems." There is not clear definition that this was completed only that there was an inspection and that the inspection showed no problems. In the work history, the Honda technician will claim either "performed" or "adjusted" as it pertains to a solvable problem. Case in point - "perform tire rotation, radial cross pattern, bias in front to rear pattern. perform this operation every 7500 miles", or "replaced rear brake pads". $5100 quote, with a 3yr/36xxx warranty, for a re-manufactured transmission is insane and an unthinkable amount of money for this repair. When other repair shops are quoting prices in the upper teens ($1800) with a 2 year warranty, what is a person to do. Go with the logical choice, right!

- , St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #87

Jun 082011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

Honda dealer tried to "sell" us the lame brained idea that it is normal for an Accord's transmission to fail at 123,000 miles! Advised that my 2008 Subaru Outback has 360,000 on the original transmission & engine. Wish I'd known about Honda's transmission problems then--might have negotiated a break on the $4200 quote to drop a new off-the-shelf transmission into the car. On the other hand it would have probably failed too. Ended up with an AAMCO rebuild for $3500. Will sell/trade before that warranty expires. No more Honda's in this family.

- , Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #86

Jul 082011

Accord EX 3.2lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

does anybody know ,how to file a suit against honda of america? tranny has gone at 120000 miles.That's not a lot mileage for a Honda.Dealer wants $39000 to fix it.They've had lots of complaints on the tranny at even less mileage than mine.Please help me.

- , Mine Hill, NJ, USA

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